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Nils S

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  1. Mummi - Great pix. I haven't been in Marathon in a year and a half, haven't had my boat down there in three years. This thread has convinced me to give it another shot with the boat, I hope next fall. When I pick the dates I'll post it here. That way everyone else can stay home, 'cause, as per usual, it's gonna blow like hell for all week.
  2. East Coaster - It appears as if we just got to the end of the dead whales hiatus, which lasted a month. It would be interesting to find out if the offshore wind industry had instituted any significant changes in the sonar (and etc.) surveying program during that month.
  3. Coincidently, just when the number of Cetacean deaths/strandings were reaching a crescendo in the media, they stopped dead (yea, pun intended!). Now all the guys/gals involved in observing, studying, reporting (and perhaps causing, 'cause we have no proof that they aren't) these mortalities either work for or contract with New Jersey government, NOAA/NMFS/BOEM, hungry academicians, on the dole ENGOs, or the offshore wind industries. Now sceptics among us (God forbid!) might suspect that word might have possibly filtered down to the folks on deck, NOAA/NMFS/BOEM employees, wind energy employees, ENGO staff, acadenicians, etc, or they might have figured out for themselves that it would be best for their paychecks and their futures if they ceased those operations that we have all been assured have no connection to the cetacean deaths/strandings, at least temporarily, at least until the interest in dead/dying cetaceans wanes (and us rate/tax payers are so terminally invested in windmills that we aren't ever going to get out from under). I have been assured by various folks that the whales/dolphins have not disappeared from the NY Bight. They are still out there. So are the fishermen, and they are still fishing. How about the other vessels that have made NY/NJ the busiest commercial port in the U.S.? And when I asked Jeff Bezos he assured me it wasn't him. So why the surprising, and surprisingly coincidental, dearth of deaths (1 month and counting)? Another question - what does a cetacean do when it is "only" adversely affected? Move to another ocean? Take and Advil (or a lot of Advil)? Curse at his or her respective mate? Scream at the kids? Pout. Us taxpaying people actually get fined or jailed for harassing marine mammals (see https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/03/29/group-of-swimmers-in-hawaii-cited-for-aggressively-chasing-harassing-dolphin-pod/ for one of the latest "cases"). What's the diff between swimming after a dolphin pod and buggering up their hearing - even if only temporarily, but that's kind of hard to prove. Just like it's kind of hard to prove that any "adverse effects" aren't eventually directly or indirectly mortal.
  4. Wind "farm" opposition rally in Trenton tomorrow (ps "farm" is in quotations because if there's one thing a windmill agglomeration doesn't resemble, it's a farm. Someone was listening to a marketing spiel when he/she decided to call them that. For particulars go to the web page at https://ocnjdaily.com/wind-farm-opponents-rally-trenton/.
  5. “I was out in the Atlantic Ocean south of New England last year for a research cruise, and I saw over a hundred large whales. There were great whales, and maybe a thousand dolphins. They are doing fine, as far as I can tell." Nothing's more convincing than a trained scientist reporting on a controlled experiment that has been rigorously peer reviewed and includes full disclosure of the researchers' financial ties. That's almost as good as an engineer saying that "over a thousand dolphins" and "over a hundred large whales" are "doing fine, as far as I can tell" and knowing that he works for one of the major wind energy contractors and the federal agency that is super rah! rah! over the prospect of windmills to the horizon, that both answer to the current President, a President with dismal job approval ratings, who seems to think that those same windmills are going to turn him into a reborn JFK. (and none of that is or is meant to be "political.")
  6. It's also interesting to see the subtle transformation from "let's stop ocean wind power development until we determine what it's impact will be" to "let's stop ocean wind power development." The former might have greater impact on middle-of-the-roaders, the later (+ or -) for those at either end of the ocean windmill spectrum. The focus of the media coverage is also definitely shifting.
  7. Introduced in House (03/21/2023) 118th CONGRESS 1st Session H. RES. 239 Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that offshore wind projects along the Atlantic coast require more comprehensive investigations examining the impact to the environment, relevant maritime industries, and national defense before being leased or constructed. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES March 21, 2023 Mr. Van Drew (for himself, Mr. Harris, Mr. Smith of New Jersey, Mr. Perry, and Mr. D'Esposito) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources RESOLUTION Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that offshore wind projects along the Atlantic coast require more comprehensive investigations examining the impact to the environment, relevant maritime industries, and national defense before being leased or constructed. Whereas the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), under the direction of the Department of the Interior, has as of March 2023 leased 1,753,818 acres of offshore land for wind development and is planning on leasing another 1,700,000 acres off the Central Atlantic coast and additional leases off the Northern Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Maine; Whereas offshore wind turbines are over 900 feet tall, 600 feet higher than standard onshore wind turbines; Whereas the interarray and offshore export connection cables between wind farms and onshore energy grids will require the dredging of hundreds of miles of ocean floor; Whereas lease areas sit along known migration routes and foraging areas of North Atlantic right whales, humpback whales, and economically important commercial and recreational fish species; Whereas disturbances to right whale foraging areas could have population-level effects on the already endangered and stressed species; Whereas, between December 2022 and March 2023, 23 dead whales have washed ashore on the East Coast, including on the shores of Lido Beach on Long Island, New York, the North Brigantine Natural Area in Brigantine, New Jersey, and the shores of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Whereas the BOEM and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have an unclear process for determining all contributing causes of death of whales through necropsies; Whereas NOAA lacks a mechanism to oversee and enforce the parameters of its incidental harassment authorizations of marine mammals issued to offshore wind companies; Whereas areas leased as of March 2023 for offshore wind turbines sit along established fishing grounds that generate 40 percent of the United States fisheries $4,800,000,000 annual economic output, and provides food for millions of Americans; Whereas commercial vessel traffic in the Atlantic region, particularly in Coast Guard Districts 1, 5, and 7, is vital to the United States economy in that it serves major East Coast ports by the safe, reliable, and energy-efficient transportation of dry and liquid cargos; Whereas the rerouting of such traffic to accommodate wind lease sites is inefficient and poses a potential risk to the safety of vessel traffic and marine species; Whereas BOEM, in a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Ocean Wind 1 lease sale stated that the presence of offshore wind turbine structures and related radar interference could result in delays within or approaching ports, increase navigational complexity, and create detours to offshore travel or port approaches; Whereas requests from maritime stakeholders to increase the width of transit lanes to a minimum of 2 nautical miles to ensure safer transit through wind farms have been disregarded; Whereas a proposed alternative turbine layout with wider transit lanes was rejected in a record of decision (ROD) by the BOEM for the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind project in part due to potential delays to the project that would be inconsistent with timelines set in President Biden’s Executive Order 14008; Whereas such ROD stated that “the combination of the technical complexities and project delay would preclude [Vineyard Wind 1’s] ability to meet the current contractual obligations with Massachusetts distribution companies”; Whereas the contractual obligation refers to a power purchase agreement between Vineyard Wind 1 and the State of Massachusetts, which was signed 2 years prior to the ROD, and required 800 megawatts of energy output; Whereas the required energy output prevents serious consideration of alternative requests for wind farm layout and number of turbines installed; Whereas BOEM, in a draft EIS for the Ocean Wind 1 lease sale off the coast of New Jersey, determined that the proposed wind turbine structures would increase the risk of vessel collisions, allisions, and spills which could result in personal injury or loss of life; Whereas the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that wind turbine generator interference on marine vessel radar will lead to unforeseen complications and degraded performance, causing loss of radar contact that is particularly consequential when conducting search and rescue operations in and adjacent to offshore wind farms; Whereas offshore wind farms will interfere with coastal high frequency radar systems used for United States Coast Guard (USCG) search and rescue operations; Whereas existing port access route studies (PARS) related to offshore wind do not properly examine potential radar interference and the impact on navigation within and around wind farms; Whereas the USCG in its Areas Offshore of Massachusetts and Rhode Island PARS determined that the potential for offshore wind turbine interference with marine radar is site specific and depends on factors including turbine size, array layouts, number of turbines, construction materials, and vessel types; Whereas the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that wind turbine generator interference decreases the effectiveness of marine vessel radar mounted on all vessel classes and that the sizes of anticipated offshore wind farms across the United States Outer Continental Shelf at the scale of anticipated deployment will exacerbate this situation; Whereas the potential safety and maritime supply chain impacts of navigational and radar interference related to proposed offshore wind leases has not been duly evaluated or mitigated; Whereas the Department of Defense’s Offshore Wind Mission Compatibility Assessment ruled much of the offshore east coast a “wind exclusion zone”, for defense and defense training reasons; Whereas, according to the Department of Defense, ARSR–4 primary long-range air surveillance radars would be “very susceptible” to interference from wind turbines, and that “target tracking abilities decrease as turbine number, size, and density increases”; Whereas the Department of Defense acknowledged in May 2019 that noise generated by offshore wind turbines disturbs acoustically sensitive environments and may interfere with offensive- and defensive-based military sensors, and that currently there are no Department of Defense-supported unclassified studies that have been conducted regarding this topic; and Whereas the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Wallops Flight Facility stated in 2022 that offshore wind farms built within wind exclusion zones could potentially be flight obstructions, be impacted by falling debris from launches, and would impact the facility’s ability to accept and expand new technologies: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that— (1) the Atlantic coast offshore wind leases represent a transformative industrialization of vital environmental and maritime resources of the United States; (2) the potential impacts of this industrialization have not been duly evaluated or mitigated by the responsible Federal agencies; (3) Congress should— (A) conduct investigations to determine the true impacts of offshore wind development; and (B) use the findings of such investigations to develop legislation to mitigate potential negative environmental or economic impacts of offshore wind development; and (4) leasing and construction of offshore wind farms along the Atlantic coast should be put under immediate moratorium until these investigations and findings are presented to Congress and the public.
  8. For probably more than you ever wanted to know about sonar effects on beaked whales, see “Gas and Fat Embolic Syndrome” Involving a Mass Stranding of Beaked Whales (Family Ziphiidae) Exposed to Anthropogenic Sonar Signals" (at https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1354/vp.42-4-446#table1-vp-42-4-446).It's even got some fairly gruesome color pix of the organ and tissue level damage to the whales. The article was published in 2005. From the article Jeffz1 posted, "the US government gave the navy a five-year exemption from the Marine Mammal Protection Act after tests led to the conclusion that the system was unlikely to injure marine mammals." I wonder who drew that conclusion? I wonder if there were any suggestions "from upstairs" involved? Or any subtle coercion? Or, again in the words of Frank Drebin from almost 20 years ago, Nothing to see here, folks! If you have any interest in mammalian pathology or histology, take a look at the 2005 article. Kind of grody, but also kind of interesting. Def don't swim around any submarines or other military vessels.
  9. Jeffz1 - Thanks greatly for posting that here. The linked articles are a great illustration of how much is not known about cetacean strandings and mortalities, which are increasingly used interchangeably but as I understand it actually aren't the same thing at all. The two large pilot whale strandings referenced resulted from the behavior of a pod of whales. It appears as if the whales were exhibiting "herd behavior," and the "herd" members-all the same species-made some either purposely or accidentally wrong choices (please excuse the anthropomorphism) . You could probably say that they all died for the same reason(s) and the large number of mortalities should in both cases be treated as a single incident. That's not true of the current mortalities. That involved four or five different species, all presumably having different behavioral patterns, different reactions to stumuli, different physiologies, a bunch of characteristics that separate one whale species from another. Same same as humans (Homo sapiens) from Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) (pls note that, phylogenetically, whether Neanderthals were a species of the genus Homo or a subspecies of H. sapiens has not been settled), dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) from coyotes (Canis latrans), domestic cats (Felis domesticus) from wildcats (Felis silvestris), and on and on. It all boils down to different critters have different behaviors and appearances and reactions and etc. But here we have a bunch of critters with different characteristics-on the level of the diff between dogs and coyotes-all dying at about the same time and in about the same place. And, if a proposed multibillion dollar development is shone to be responsible for those deaths, due to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, and undoubtedly a bunch of other state and federal laws and regulations, provisions have to be made. And these provisions are going to either except these species from the protections or insure that they aren't excepted. The latter could be very expensive, maybe even prohibitively expensive. But to base the future on (seeming to me) a bunch of waffling bureaucratic weasel words rather than a definitive "yes, there is a connection between prep work for offshore wind and a cluster of whale/dolphin deaths" or "no, there is not a connection between prep work for offshore wind and a cluster of whale/dolphin deaths " is what we're paying for. And we're not getting it.
  10. "Party honesty is party expediency" Grover Cleveland That was then... Speaking (or writing) about the expedient language of our elected and appointed officials, this is from NJ Congressman Frank Pallone's website (please note the date - https://pallone.house.gov/press-release/pallone-demands-federal-environmental-and-socio-economic-assessment-wind-farm -my italics). If my wayback machine is working, George W. Bush was President then Pallone Demands Federal Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment of Wind Farm Proposals September 27, 2004 Press Release Long Branch, NJ --- Concerned that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could allow the construction of a wind farm off the Monmouth County coast without any public input or an assessment of the environmental and economic impacts, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today requested the Army Corps not permit the construction of any offshore wind farm projects until the federal agency has completed a comprehensive assessment of all potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. The New Jersey congressman made the request in a letter to Lieutenant General Carl Strock, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The letter comes in response to a proposal by New York based Winergy, LLS calling for the construction of 1,019 wind turbines off the coast of New Jersey, encompassing 234 square miles of ocean space. One of the projects calls for the construction of 98 windmills 3.5 miles off the Monmouth County coast, reaching from Long Branch to Manasquan in Pallone's congressional district. "New Jersey's shoreline is extremely valuable for a number of environmental and economic reasons," Pallone wrote in his letter to Lt. Gen. Strock. "Before you begin the process of determining whether and where to permit wind farms, government officials, area residents, and other stakeholder organizations must have a detailed conception of how these projects will impact shore tourism, the fishing industry, offshore recreation, local property values, water quality, and impacts to marine life and migratory bird populations." Pallone called on the Army Corps to pay particular attention to the impacts that wind farms will have on the aesthetic quality of New Jersey's coastline. Pallone wrote that tourism is a vital part of New Jersey's economy, and voiced the concern of some area residents that wind farms could disrupt the view from the shore and negatively impact the number of tourists visiting New Jersey's beaches. Since proposals involving offshore wind farms are relatively new, Pallone also voiced concern that a structure is not currently in place outlining the requirements and procedures companies must meet in order to receive a permit to construct wind farms. "I am also concerned that there does not seem to be a formalized process with strict guidelines to direct how you will issue permits for wind farms, assess these projects' impacts, and ensure public participation," Pallone continued in his letter. "I respectfully request that you develop such a process and inform me how you intend to do so." The New Jersey congressman will also introduce legislation that would establish a moratorium on offshore wind farms in the Mid-Atlantic Region until a comprehensive assessment of all potential environmental and socio-economic impacts is completed, as well as public comments and forums. And this now... (At https://pallone.house.gov/media/press-releases/pallone-applauds-historic-offshore-wind-energy-lease-sale Pallone Applauds Historic Offshore Wind Energy Lease Sale January 12, 2022 Press Release Long Branch, NJ – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today issued the following statement on the Department of Interior's historic offshore wind lease sale announcement off the coasts of New Jersey and New York: "Today's announcement will help us rapidly deploy offshore wind technology in New Jersey and build on the progress that we are already seeing in our state. We know that climate change is here and that states like New Jersey are on the front lines. Offshore wind promises to tackle the climate crisis head-on by delivering the benefits of clean energy as we transition to a clean economy. "By investing in clean energy, we have a real opportunity to revitalize manufacturing, grow the domestic supply chain, and create new, good-paying jobs right here in New Jersey and across the country. I look forward to continuing my work with the Biden Administration to combat the climate crisis and invest in our economy for the future."
  11. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." from Hamlet (by William Shakespeare) Actually, without fear of any authoritative contradiction, (according to Britannica) "the most important use of the windmill was for grinding grain. In certain areas its uses in land drainage and water pumping were equally important. The windmill has been used as a source of electrical power since P. La Cour’s mill, built in Denmark in 1890 with patent sails and twin fantails on a steel tower. Interest in the use of windmills for the generation of electric power, on both single-user and commercial scales, revived in the 1970s." So, along with grinding grain and generating electricity, wind 'mills' have been kind of essential to keep the feet (and other body parts) of a whole bunch of Dutch people dry. And by the by, gellflex, the NOAA/NMFS and BOEM intramural cheering squad for the President Biden WINDMILL extravaganza has only admitted to two things about dead whales. One is that they don't know what's causing it. Two is they know it's not WINDMILLS that are causing it. I haven't yet figured out how they can stand behind both positions , but apparently in the world of politicks you stand behind any grouping of words that are at the moment expedient.
  12. Ref fishing around the wind turbines.... While they look kind of tame spinning in the distance, the tips of the blades are moving at about 200 mph. Regardless of whether you are allowed to by security or not, I doubt anybody is going to want to get near them. Imagine standing on the shoulder of the Daytona Beach track with cars going that fast. Then stand it all on it's side. I drove to near the bottom of a wind turbine in Spain (and it looked to be medium sized, not the large economy sized ones the Scandinavians want to sell us), There was a definitely noticeable whish-make that WHISH-with each blade pass, and I def didn't feel like hanging around and gawking. As far as passing through the "farms," there will be narrow (a mile I think) lanes for commercial boats. Not enough to tow thru and not much in a nor'easter. I don't know about rec boats but I doubt fishing will be as encouraged as much as it is are in the Gulf of Mexico. I suspect that a lot of people think that the GOM and the North Atlantic are kind of similar wave-wise. Not hardly. The maximum fetch of our East Coast waves is three thousand miles (U.S. to Northern Africa). In the GOM it's somewhere in the range of 800 miles by 1100 miles. The potential is for much larger waves, much rougher water in the N. Atlantic.
  13. At the process level yes. At the component level supposedly the wind generators going into Oersted's planned mid-Atlantic "farm" are the latest, biggest, newest model that hasn't been prototyped in a salt water installation. I'll dig into that later. Otter - do Swedes count as Scandinavians?
  14. If I might make a personal comment, my one goal in this mess is to do what I can to force the federal and state governments to honestly and competently assess the environmental impacts of the siting, construction and operation of these wind generators (see, once someone teaches me something I remember it!). And to start with an initial one or two, and if warranted scale up from there.. This discussion, and the petition and most of the commentary has focused on sonar-related impacts. There are a whole lot of other potential impacts that have been for the most part ignored. Naming just a few, there are EMF effects, accelerated bottom scouring, chronic heightened sound/vibration levels, microclimatological effects, impacts on what have been normal onshore and offshore circulatory patterns, and on and on. This is all new, uncharted territory, and we are seriously considering paying for, installing and operating thousands of these thousand plus foot tall monstrosities off our beaches before even one has been put into service anywhere in the North Atlantic (or anywhere else, I think). One of my reasons for being involved at all is because if somebody in the federal or the New Jersey or the New York government "missed something" (unlikely as that might be, because we all know that public servants tend to be infallible) and we end up with a bunch less right whales than we're supposed to have, guess who's going to pay for that? (A hint here - it's going to be the fishermen 'cause that's the way it's set up to work.) All the folks who are running around with their hair on fire today most likely are going to be running around with flaming locks three or four years from now as well, Between now and then we might have answers to a whole bunch of questions that we don't have a clue about today. Or the climate crisis panic mongers, the world saving pols, but not a bunch of already too-rich Scandinavians, who have all skedaddled home with a big bunch of our bucks, get to stand on our beaches, face the rising sun and say oops!
  15. I have never read such an agglomeration of inane drivel. That is not in the way of solving anything other than some of the participant's societal or sexual infirmities. That's an individual's problem, not mine or SOL's. So, ignoring (outgrowing?) all that mess, this is what is known: 1) A lot of seismic profiling has been ongoing in the mid-Atlantic Bight 2) This seismic profiling has been done in support of wind turbine (thanks again!) construction in the mid-Atlantic Bight. 3) Several very prominent elected politicians have hung an awful lot of their political credibility on putting an awful lot of wind turbines (whatever your name is, I'm tired of acknowledging your contributions to helping my vocabulary along so I'm done with that) in the mid-Atlantic Bight. 4) On the other side we have, coincident with the beginning of the seismic testing in the mid-Atlantic Bight, a statistically significant increase in marine mammal (whales and dolphins) mortalities. 5) The ultimate "guys in charge," (Governor Murphy and President Biden) have made high profile commitments to what is a significant number of experts would agree was an unrealistic projection of the future proliferation of wind generation in the mid-Atlantic Bight. 6) A significant (read here 100%) increase in the number of NOAA/NMFS, BOEM and any other federal agencies or grantee institutions "opinions" that there's no story (about out-of-the-ordinary recent marine mammal mortalities (a corollary to the previous). 7) National security precluding (particularly considering direction from "on high) us from ever knowing-or even guessing at-what the impact of state-of-the-art sonar has on on all those critters that hang out, either full time or intermittently, in our oceans. Got anything else significant to add to the list? Please do! But please try your mightiest to leave out your inner gay:straight, red state:blue state, Yankees:Eagles, right handed:left handed, GM:Mopar or whatever else your inner subliminal or up front conflicts drive you to, and focus on the issue at hand. How this resolves could have a major impact on your future of fishing or your lack thereof. So get knowledgeable and get involved! Thanks, Nils
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